Last week LG announced that it would allow third-party TV manufacturers to use its webOS platform and now its main rival is following suit. Samsung has revealed that it will license its Tizen OS TV platform for use in non-Samsung TV models for the first time, partnering with Akai, RCA and a bunch of other brands (Bauhn, Linsar, Sunny, Vispera) sold in Europe, Australia and New Zealand.
The partnership gives those manufacturers access to Tizen OS features like Samsung TV Plus (a free streaming TV and video platform), Universal Guide for discovery and personalized recommendations, and Samsung’s Bixby and other voice assistants.
As we noted when LG first announced it would license webOS to other TV makers, these deals give buyers another option on lower-priced smart TVs that might otherwise run Android TV, Roku or Amazon’s Fire TV. While you’ve probably never heard of many of the brands mentioned, the fact that Samsung is opening its Tizen platform means it could come to TVs sold in the US at some point.
Samsung’s Smart TV and LG’s webOS are good options instead of Android TV, as both offer good search and personalization capabilities, a choice of multiple voice assistants (their own plus Alexa and Google) and support for Apple Airplay (though not Chromecast). Google TV is a big update from Android TV, but the majority of TVs and streaming boxes like NVIDIA’s Shield TV still use the latter — though Google’s plan is to eventually have all third-party devices running Google TV.
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